Empty Dentist Chair

Believe it or not, there is a consistent belief that if you are seeing an orthodontist for treatment, such as braces, it shouldn’t be necessary to see a dentist as well. After all, both are doctors that are working on your teeth, so why should you see both? However, while orthodontists and dentists work in the same area of the body, they are entirely different specialties. If anything, having braces means that it is even more important to maintain all elements of your oral health routine, including dental visits.

 

What Is the Role of a Dentist?

 

A good analogy for the role of a dentist in your life is that of your primary care provider in your life. You see your PCP for a regular checkup. Many issues they can treat on their own and you don’t see anyone else and can go about your life. Sometimes, you’ll need to see a specialist, like an ear-nose-throat doctor or any number of specialties. Just because you start seeing a specialist, it doesn’t mean that you should stop seeing your primary care provider. If anything, keeping your regular doctor apprised of any medical issues or treatments from your specialist is a prudent tactic. This is exactly how the relationship between you, your dentist, and your orthodontist should be during treatment.

 

Why Is Seeing Your Dentist So Important?

 

Braces do a lot of good for you during the treatment period, fixing alignment problems and alleviating a host of potential oral health issues. However, like any treatment in medicine, there are side effects. One of the side effects of braces is that it can make your teeth more susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up. While this can be addressed by the rest of your normal oral health routine, getting professional dental cleanings is the only way to remove this buildup from your teeth. You should pay more attention and perhaps even schedule more frequent dental cleanings during your orthodontic treatment just to stay on top of these issues. As a result, many orthodontists recommend that you see a dentist for cleanings more frequently during braces – as much as two to four times per year during the treatment.

 

Maintaining your dental health during an orthodontist treatment is vital. This means continuing diligence with your at-home care routine, including teeth brushing and flossing. In addition, that may mean extra visits with your dentist. Your dentist and orthodontist can help you chart out a treatment plan that ensures you are at your maximum oral health throughout your orthodontics treatment.

 

Contact us today to learn more and gain the smile you want!

Crooked Teeth

If there is one thing those of us in the orthodontics world are known for, it’s braces and the fact that they are used to treat cases of crooked teeth (among other things) in our patients. However, one of the more commonly asked questions we get is, why do some people get crooked teeth, to begin with? After all, if you take a look around, most people don’t have the picture-perfect smile we all imagine without some orthodontics help. There are a variety of factors that can cause people to have some kind of crooked teeth.

 

Sometimes You Are Just Born with Them

 

It can be hard to escape your genetics sometimes, and crooked teeth can certainly be one of those genetic factors you can’t avoid. In fact, it is the most common cause of crooked teeth, meaning that there is little to nothing most people can do to prevent crooked teeth. These genes can manifest in a number of ways. For instance, crowded teeth can be caused by smaller mouths, certainly a genetic trait that can cause misaligned jaws or crooked teeth.

 

There Are Some Bad Habits That Cause Crooked Teeth

 

While most people have absolutely no control over their teeth, there are some bad habits that can actually cause this problem. Perhaps the most common is prolonged thumb sucking. While this can be cute in infants for a while, at some point, it actually causes enough of a ripple effect down the line to lead to the development of crooked teeth, which is why some parents struggle to break this habit before it’s too late. The other behavioral traits that can cause this are often subconscious, and they include mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, or reverse swallowing. All of these can contribute to crooked teeth.

 

Baby Teeth Actually Do Matter

 

There is often a joke about whether or not taking care of your baby teeth really matters because you are just going to lose them anyway. However, the health of your baby teeth is directly linked to the health of your adult teeth. If you lose baby teeth prematurely due to decay, it causes the timing of your adult teeth to be off, which can greatly contribute to crooked teeth. In addition, the harmful bacteria that caused the baby tooth to decay can already impact the enamel of the adult tooth before it has even fully emerged.

 

Of course, the good news is that crooked teeth are eminently treatable in the hands of practiced and skilled orthodontists. We can perform treatments at all ages, although the sooner we start, the lower the costs and shorter the treatment times tend to be. However, many people, even the ones with picture-perfect smiles now, had to deal with crooked teeth. We’ll be happy to help you overcome this condition with our professional orthodontics treatments. Contact us now to learn more.

Child Receiving Orthodontic treatment at Burke + Beckstrom Office

It is very important for your child to receive orthodontic treatment for any issues they have at a young age. You may be aware that it is recommended your child receive their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven, and that recommendation is for a good reason, based on the developing structure of your child’s mouth.

 

Once you have taken your child in for an evaluation and are hit with the news that there are orthodontic concerns, you may be tempted to put off treatment for a number of reasons, but early treatment is best, and it is key for good orthodontic results and quicker treatment duration.

 

 

“Early detection for problems will help to shorten the treatment time when it is implemented. Orthodontists can detect early issues with jaw growth, early problems with teeth as they are growing in, and can detect problems that may benefit from early treatment.”–What Age Should My Child Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?

 

Why is it important to begin treatment early?

Early orthodontic treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, is usually performed when some baby teeth are still present. Around age seven, there are enough of the permanent teeth in place for a good evaluation and treatment plan to be developed.

 

The purpose of early treatment is to intervene before the procedures have to be more intrusive and corrective. Your orthodontist can help to alleviate any issues before they become harder to fix.

 

When your child is younger, their jaw structure is still growing and developing, and is easier to manipulate into the correct form. You can prevent problems with greater ease at this age and avoid a more difficult corrective treatment plan as your child gets older. Some orthodontic treatment measures are simply more effective when done at a younger age.

 

Your child’s treatment may include:

 

  • A fixed or removable “appliance” which can move teeth, guide jaw position, and hold teeth in place to get the desired changes to occur.
  • Some baby teeth may be removed to allow for more space where needed for the ingrowing adult teeth to come in properly.

 

The key to getting your child’s orthodontic needs met and giving them the best opportunity for a healthy, radiant smile is to get their orthodontic treatment underway as soon after age seven as possible. Sometimes no treatment is required, but this is best determined with a thorough orthodontic evaluation. The orthodontist can determine treatment but also when that treatment should be implemented for the best outcomes for your child.

 

We are here to answer any questions you may have about your child’s orthodontic care. We look forward to serving you! Contact us with any questions and set up your child’s first orthodontic appointment!

It’s no secret that some people can be scared or intimidated by the thought of their first visit to an orthodontist. Already, people have nerves about dentists, and orthodontists conjure up similar emotions. We happen to feel that knowledge is a powerful tool in combating these fears and anxieties, so that’s why we wanted to break down exactly what you can expect at your first visit so you can rest your mind and be prepared for the experience.

A Commitment to Positivity and Professionalism

First off, before we dig into the nuts and bolts of what happens in the first visit, we want to establish one thing. We strive exceptionally hard to provide you with unequaled professionalism. However, our commitment to the right attitude doesn’t stop there. We aim to give you encouragement, motivation, positive feelings (we dare you to not smile for your whole visit!). Most importantly, we focus on you and your needs throughout the entire visit.

The Goals of the First Visit

We don’t go into a first visit with an assumption of orthodontics care being necessary. The goal of the consultation is to examine if orthodontics is the right choice for you right now. We do this with a variety of diagnostic tools, primarily a panoramic x-ray (the machine actually spins around your head!) and a complete set of photos, both of you and your natural smile and detailed photos of all your teeth. These diagnostic tools allow us to get the full picture of your bite, smile, and jaw, including things not obvious to the naked eye and allow us to present you with all of the information so that we can determine, together, if orthodontics treatment is the right choice at the moment.

Know All Your Options

One of the great things about orthodontics is that there is rarely ever one course of treatment. Generally, you have a variety of options with various pros and cons, depending on your precise situation. We are dedicated to taking you through all of your options from treatment and financial perspective. When you make the decision as to the course of treatment you’ll take, we want you to feel good, knowing you got all of the information you needed and can accurately budget, with no surprises.

Ask as Many Questions as You Want

Especially as you are going through the options for treatment, you may have questions. That’s great! We will be happy to answer as many questions as you have to throw at us. Again, the more you know, the more comfortable you will feel.

 

Hopefully, this demystifies the first visit to the orthodontist and sets your mind at ease. Contact us today and gain that confident smile.

healthy smile

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed life for a while, in more ways than we can count. While we will certainly get through this and come out stronger on the other side (we always have, after all), there are a lot of things that we need to adjust to. On the advice of the CDC, the American Dental Association, and the American Association of Orthodontics, our offices are temporarily closed. However, that doesn’t mean that your smile simply has to fall by the wayside during this time. There are still ways to keep your smile as healthy as possible in the face of this current situation.

 

Don’t Fall Back On Hygiene

 

In the face of stress, often self-care is one of the things that can fall by the wayside. However, in order to protect your smile, it is imperative to continue your regular hygiene routine. That means flossing daily, brushing multiple times per day and avoiding high amounts of foods that are problematic for your teeth. This is true for everyone, but especially if you are in the middle of an orthodontic treatment, like braces, do your best to stick to your food list. This way we can stay on track for the treatment to be completed.

 

Make Minor Fixes At Home

 

Orthodontics hardware naturally requires some maintenance over time. While our offices are closed, minor fixes can be made or alleviated at home using orthodontic wax. For minor issues like a broken brace or wire, this solution should suffice. If your supply of wax is running low, you should be able to purchase some online, and some pharmacies will carry it in-store as well. For minor issues, we will be ready to fix them as soon as we are able to reopen our office and provide service.

 

Follow All Instructions

 

Depending on what stage of the orthodontics process you are in, you probably have instructions from your orthodontist, whether it be regarding elastics, a retainer, or an expander. Be sure to follow the instructions provided at your last appointment. In the case of elastics, continue to use as instructed as the risk of overcorrection is minor. If you run out of elastics, please don’t substitute with any other elastics! These are not designed for orthodontics use, and their differing force may cause more problems than not. Following the guidelines as close as you are able will ensure that your smile stays on track to look and feel amazing when the pandemic has passed.

 

These tips will help keep your smile in tip-top shape while the pandemic is occurring and should keep you able to handle any minor issues. If pain, discomfort, or bleeding becomes more than minor, please seek out medical attention to ensure that you receive any needed care. We look forward to treating you again as soon as our offices are open!

 

Girl smiling by friends

The light at the end of the tunnel is close – you’ve almost completed the long journey of having braces and completing a major orthodontic treatment. There’s a new and great smile on your horizon. However, you may be wondering what to expect when you are getting your braces removed and what’s coming shortly after. Here are some things to expect at your removal appointment and what life will be like shortly after.

 

The Removal Appointment

 

There can be some anxiety about the process of having braces removed but, thankfully, the process isn’t one to be too nervous about. There shouldn’t be any pain involved in the process of having braces removed, one of the major fear points for many patients. At most, you feel pressure as your orthodontist removes the brackets and gently breaks the adhesive to remove the braces. However, that’s not the only thing that happens at this appointment. Your orthodontist will also make a new impression of your teeth and roof of your mouth to prepare a retainer. The entire removal appointment should only take about an hour.

 

What Comes Next?

 

After your braces are removed, there are a few things you’ll want to get used to. First off, as mentioned above, you’ll get a retainer to wear after the removal. Your specific instructions for your orthodontist will vary, but you can expect to wear that retainer full time for a few months afterward and then at night for a few more months, about a year total.

 

There will also be some other adjustments to get used to after the removal. For instance, in the short term, your gums will likely be inflamed from the removal process. With continued and proper care of tooth brushing and flossing, this will quickly subside. Another odd thing to get used to is that you will probably have calluses on the inside of your lips. This is a result of the metal brackets rubbing against the skin there. However, because that metal prevents you from feeling that skin, you won’t notice the calluses presence there until after the braces are removed. These are temporary and will return to usual over time. Another possible side effect is some discoloration because braces can make it hard to fully clean teeth. This can also be treated once the braces are removed. A last possible side effect is that braces may have weakened the enamel on your teeth, making them slightly more sensitive.

 

Now, however, there are very exciting things to look forward to. You can enjoy some of your favorite foods that aren’t exactly braces-friendly, like gum, candies, and apples. Brushing and flossing your teeth will become substantially easier again. And, of course, you’ll have a beautiful new smile that you will be excited to showcase to the world once again! Contact us today, and let’s work together to gain the smile of your dreams!

 

Old Couple Smiling

Teeth. There’s up 32 of them in the average smile. And yes… you probably do take them for granted.

 

For many of us, the idea of keeping our teeth straight and perfect tends to be something we experience primarily in our youth when alignment needs the most encouragement. It’s not that we ignore dental hygiene altogether once we reach a certain age. It’s just that we consider a perfectly straight smile to be practically impossible.

 

But it is possible, whether you’re 12, 27 or even in your late fifties. Now more than ever, trends and innovations in dental care have become accessible, cost effective and virtually painless. In fact, one out of every four orthodontic patients in the U.S. is an adult. And if you’re concerned about how orthodontic procedures can affect you as an adult, here are some things to consider.

 

What Are The Hygienic Results I Can Expect From Orthodontic Procedures?

 

  • Healthier teeth and gums that are easier to clean without resorting to expensive whitening surgeries and solutions.
  • A healthier jaw, with less worry about degenerative diseases or conditions like TMJ and even constant headaches.
  • Less risk of a host of sleeping problems from snoring to teeth grinding… and even sleep apnea.
  • A boost in your confidence, trust and self esteem!

 

Are Braces Right For Me?

 

If you have an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth or even a malady as severe as a jaw disorder, you may wonder whether or not braces are right for you. The answer is a resounding yes!

 

No matter what your age is, the process of straightening your smile with braces is exactly the same. You’re moving your teeth in line to become more even and aligned, even if you’ve already had dental implants. And the result can be a smile that’s as vital, fresh and pleasant as you are.

 

What About Other Alignment Methods?

 

You don’t necessarily have to rely on seemingly long term solutions like braces to help get a perfect smile. Custom molded alignment trays are becoming increasingly popular with millions of Americans, with the added benefit that they can slip on and off without being noticed. The shift in your smile may be just as gradual; but if you’re concerned about the appearance of traditional metal braces, ceramic and even high quality plastic aligners like Invisalign® are an attractive and convenient alternative with all of the efficacy of braces and none of the self consciousness.

 

 

Ready to change the way you think about orthodontics? Smile forward with confidence and give us a call today at 435-673-3334!